Five ways to get active with animals

We are a nation of animal lovers and with an estimated 51 million pets living in the UK, there are almost as many pets as people. If you are one of the 49% of UK adults who own animal, what better way to show appreciation to your furry friends than to spend time getting active with the little treasures? Even if you're currently sans pet, there are lots of shelters and online schemes where you can look after animals for enough time to fit in a good amount of exercise with your new workout buddy!

1. W-A-L-K-I-E-S

Dog running in field

You won't find a more eager personal trainer than a dog and their enthusiasm to get up and active is contagious! Exercise is essential to pooches' physical and mental health - all breeds need at least 20 minutes of exercise a day, and some even 2+ hours. Dogs are creatures of habit so scheduling a regular time every day, whatever the weather, is the best way to stick to a solid routine. If you have or are looking after an athletic breed, why not keep it interesting by increasing the pace or heading off trail? You'll be getting a great cardio-vascular workout and a best friend for life.

2. Cat Pose

Cat stretching doing yoga

You may have heard of Downward Dog but how about giving your Cat Pose a try? Cat cafes offering cat yoga sessions are popping up in cities around the country, or you could even try it out at home with your very own feline friend. Cats are well designed yogis with pliable muscles that they love to stretch, and their curious nature will have them intrigued the moment you roll out your mat. Even if your furry friends don't cooperate with the perfect Cat-Cow, the sheer presence of them can help you de-stress and stay in the present moment which are both valuable assets to any yoga practice.

3. Bouncing Bunnies

Rabbits jumping over fence

Hop to it! Rabbit agility, or 'show jumping' is actually a thing, where bunnies jump hurdles and bounce through tunnels, while being led around courses by you - their personal trainers. It can provide excellent physical and mental stimulation for rabbits and for their owners as you run around after them offering encouragement. Not all bunnies are designed for agility courses, so check with your vet about your breed. If you get the go-ahead, you can start basic training, such as encouraging rabbits to come to you when called, and then rewarding them with a healthy treat. You could even build some little jumps for your garden. Hopscotch anyone?

4. Horsing around

Horse riding in the country

Horses may not be the best pet to keep you financially stable but you will be able to adopt or borrow one at your local riding school for a lot less money. And don't listen to the neighsayers; horse-back riding can be a great workout for your arms, legs and bum as well as improving strength and posture. For a more intense workout, you could try mucking out the stables! Find out how to get into horse riding here.

5. Super Movers

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Join Bartley and Wolfie in a routine combining the 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12 Times Tables!

And for those of you without furry friends, you can always get active with a whole host of animals on the Super Movers website, from unicorns to bees. How about letting a wolf and bluebird lead your next fitness routine in the form of the Wolverhampton Wanderers' and Cardiff City mascots? There are loads to choose from to give you and your family a quick and easy cardiovascular boost - you'll be quackers not to give them a try.

Super Movers aims to get children moving throughout the day with lots of free, easy-to-use video resources and great football-inspired incentives like a visit from the Premier League Trophy. Brain Booster routines star famous faces and cover key areas of Numeracy and Literacy. They can be used in the classroom or at home to help children feel refreshed and energised whilst learning. The Just for Fun routines help get the whole family active together. Why not have a go?